Scammers are some of the dumbest and smartest people in the world. They know where, when and how to find people when they’re down and vulnerable. They also keep up with the times; evolving at every change in our world. That’s how they’re smart. They’re dumb because they’re scammers. And scammers are dumb. Period.
Recently, the United States are intervened in a Nigerian email scam in an attempt to recover $237,000 in U.S. bank accounts after a man posed as a potential lover on a dating site and allegedly scammed a 73 year old woman out of over half a million dollars.
The Indianapolis-area woman joined the dating site in search of love and companionship and instead found dishonesty, a broken heart and empty bank account. In her mind she met “Peter Craig”, a 65 year old civil engineer at an oil refinery in Leeds, England (oil, really?) who was also looking for love. “Peter” used the e-mail address email@example.com (really) and over the course of September 2010 and January 2011 the two sent over 194 e-mails to each other. In said messages they discussed life, family and the idea of starting a relationship.
It is now known that “Peter Craig” was in fact Ayodele Oslushola Alakija, a 20 year old Nigerian who scammed this poor elderly lady. The U.S. is looking to get back $65,000 in a Bank of America account in the name of Cars Unlimited; $71,500 from a Comerica Bank account in the name of Alpha Group Car Leasing; and $100,000 from a Comerica Bank account in the name of Hilal Charara or Shella Bazzie Charara.
On Sept. 30, 2010, the woman (known was E.M. in the case) succumbed to Craig’s request to wire him $1,500 because he had lost his wallet, according to the complaint. Six days later, she wired him another $1,000 because “his son needed emergency surgery.” That was followed by a $4,000 bite on Oct. 12, $2,500 more in Oct. 15, and another $5,000 on Oct. 26. All the money was sent by Western Union.
“Craig also told [E.M.] that he needed money for his business and that he wanted to obtain a loan from her,” according to the complaint. “Craig promised [her] a large return on her investment and provided documents showing that he had contracts worth millions of dollars. Craig also provided to [her] loan documents and instructions for wiring the money.”
The government says she wired him $47,600 to a business account at Barclay Bank on Oct. 13, 2010; $115,000 to a business account at Deutsche Trust Bank on Oct. 21; $105,000 to a business account at Wells Fargo Bank on Nov. 2; $205,000 to “Peter Craig’s attorney’s account” at Bank of America on Nov. 22 (for Cars Unlimited); and another $32,000 to the same BofA account on Nov. 29.
“Of the $504,600 that [E.M.] wired to Craig … $237,000.00 was wired into the Cars Unlimited Acct. [ending in] 7992, an account that Craig told [E.M.] was his attorney’s account,” the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Ali Hassan-Nasse Beydoun “was and is the owner and manager of Cars Unlimited,” of Detroit; and Hilal Charara “was an is the owner of Alpha Group Car Leasing,” of Detroit, which is managed by his brother, Nidal Charara.
The complaint continues its grim litany: $150,000 wire from the BofA account, in the name of Cars Unlimited (“Beydoun – Cars Unlimited Acct. 7992”) to Comerica Bank, in the name of Alpha Group Leasing, on Nov. 22. Craig then had the brass to tell his victim that money was “missing” from the piles she already had sent him, so she wired another $32,000 to Beydoun – Cars Unlimited on Nov. 29.
In a final act of bravado, which tripped him up, Uncle Sam says: “On December 20, 2010, Ayodele Oslushola Alakija (‘Alakija’) applied for a visa from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. In his application, Alakija identified himself as a 20-year old male, who was born and resides in Nigeria. He listed his email address as firstname.lastname@example.org, the same email address used by Peter Craig” – Source.
Nothing has been mentioned in regards to what is happening to the scammer, Alakija.
Be careful out there folks, love hurts.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.